Tuesday 28 February 2017


TSVI LUKATSHEVSKI (d. August 20, 1943)
            He was born in Rozhinoy (Ruzhany), the son of a manufacturer.  He studied in religious elementary schools, later graduating from a high school in Vilna, and later still studying in Warsaw, Prague, and Lemberg Universities; he initially studied philosophy and later medicine before becoming a doctor.  He began writing for Y.-Kh. Tavyov’s children’s magazine Haḥaver (The friend), and later published sketches, features, and articles in: Hatsfira (The siren), Haolam (The world), Hayom (Today), Lemberg’s Chwila (Moment) in Polish, Hadoar (The mail), Di tsayt (The times), and Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok) in New York; and in Bialystok: Dos naye lebn (The new life), Gut morgn (Good morning), Byalistoker almanakh (Bialystok almanakh), and Undzer lebn (Our life), for which he was a regular contributor.  He was a committee member of Bialystok TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia [Society for the protection of health]) and a speaker on popular scientific topics.  He was elected a city councilman in 1934 on the Mizrachi electoral slate.  He was a member of the Yiddish literary circle and vice-chair of the Hebrew literary association.  He was the chief doctor of “Gikhe hilf” (emergency assistance) in Bialystok.  Under the Nazi authorities, he worked in the ghetto hospital on Fabryczne, where he was—together with the 200 sick patients in the hospital—murdered on August 20, 1943.

Sources: Di tsayt (New York) (December 26, 1920); Byalistoker shtime (New York) (October 1924); Dos naye leben (Bialystok) (jubilee issue, 1919-1929); Byalistoker almanakh (1931); Gut morgn (Bialystok) (December 29, 1933); Byalistoker leksikon (Bialystok handbook) (Bialystok, 1935); Undzer lebn (Bialystok) (September 30, 1937); Ts. Klementinovski, Lebn un umkum in byalistoker geto (Life and destruction in the Bialystok ghetto) (New York, 1946); R. Rayzner, Der umkum fun byalistoker geto 1939-1945 (The destruction of Judaism in Bialystok, 1939-1945) (Melbourne, 1948), p. 199.
Yankev Kahan


            He was born in Zvanets, near Kamenets-Podolsk, Ukraine.  He studied in the yeshiva of “Rav Tsair” (the young rabbi) in Odessa, while at the same time studying secular subject matter.  From his youth he was active in the Zionist movement in Russia, later in Argentina where he settled in 1908.  He was a cofounder of the Zionist party Tiferet Tsiyon (Beauty of Zion).  He was also involved in the Jewish community, DAYA (Union of Jewish Organizations in Argentina), and the Yiddish-Hebrew school curriculum.  His journalistic work began in Di yidishe hofenung (The Jewish hope) in Buenos Aires (1908-1913), and later he contributed to Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Buenos Aires (1913-1917) and Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, in which, among other items, he published his travel descriptions of Israel which were later also published in book form as: Erets-yisroel, vi ikh hob zi gezen (The land of Israel, as I saw it) (Buenos Aires, 1938), 96 pp.  He also placed work in the Hebrew publication Darom (South) in Buenos Aires, and in the Hebrew press in Israel.  He was last living in Buenos Aires.

Sources: Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 185; Volf Bresler, Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Jewish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), p. 931; P. Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Selected works), vol. 5 (Buenos Aires, 1946); Y. Ayzenberg, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (Av 5 [= August 2], 1957); R. Ts., in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 7, 1962).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


DAVID LUTSKI (May 5, 1910-July 2, 1992)
            He was born in Pinsk, Byelorussia.  He received both a Jewish and a general education.  He studied law and economics.  From 1933 he was living in Israel.  He was a leader in the pioneer and labor movement.  He began his journalistic activities in the Hebrew-language labor press: Shearim (Gates) and Hashilton hamekomi (The local government), among others.  From 1944 he wrote also in Yiddish.  He was secretary of the editorial board of Letste nayes (Latest news) and editor of Yidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper)—both in Tel Aviv.  He published articles, mainly about the Israeli economy.  In book form he published: Hashilton hamekomi beyisrael (Local government in Israel) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 91 pp.  He compiled and edited the collection of data in: Madrikh leinyene hashilton hamekomi beyisrael (Guide to matters involving local government in Israel), vols. A and B (Tel Aviv, 1959).  He also published under such pen names as: Ariml and D. Ben-Yehuda.  He was last working for the Tel Aviv magistracy.

Sources: Sefer hashana shel haitonaim (The annual of newspapers) (Tel Aviv, 1948/1949), p. 244; Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 478.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


A. LUTSKI (LUTZKY) (May 14, 1894-September 13, 1957)
           The pen name of Arn Tsuker, he was born in the town of Dimidovke (Demidovka), Lutsk district, Volhynia, Ukraine, to a father who worked as a bookkeeper.  He studied in religious primary schools and privately with various tutors.  Already in his childhood at home, he became absorbed in his love of Jewish music; during the High Holidays, his father would pray before the cantor’s lectern, and his mother and brothers and sisters, too, were thoroughly engrossed in playing instruments and singing.  At age twelve he left town for Lutsk by himself and became there a chorister to a cantor, and people believed that he would become a great cantor.  Under his mother’s influence, he also studied the violin, but his father wanted his son to take the cantorial arts seriously and thus he had to give up being a synagogue chorister.  For several years he studied in a yeshiva; at that time he became acquainted with Yiddish literature, and around 1908 he began writing Yiddish poetry which he sent to various editors, but no one published them.  Nonetheless, he received encouragement from Y. L. Perets to continue writing.  After the death of his father, for a period of time he worked as a bookkeeper in a factory office; later, he was a teacher of Yiddish, and he especially excelled at teaching students to declaim short Yiddish poems.  In 1913 he departed for the United States.  En route he stopped in Warsaw, paid a visit to Y. L. Perets there, read to him from his diary which he had been keeping since 1908, and declaimed his own poems to both Perets and Noyekh Prilucki.  Perets tried to discourage him from making the trip to America, and even wanted to hire him as an assistant to handle the bookkeeping for the Warsaw Jewish community, but he was not dissuaded, and in early 1914 he arrived in New York.  In a recommendation letter to A. Almin, Prilucki introduced him as a “talented poet, actor, and musician.”  He worked for several years in New York as a seller of goods on the street, worked for a time as a teacher, gave violin lessons, and engaged in other lines of work as well.  According to the recommendation from Khayim Liberman, G. Bublik (editor of Yidishes tageblat [Jewish daily newspaper]) published a shortened version of a long poem by Lutski, entitled “Eyder aza lebn, beser shoyn der toyt” (Before such a life, better to be dead already) in Yidishes tageblat (March 4, 1917), and this was his literary debut.  Through the mediation of A. Glants-Leyeles, one month later he was living with the poet Y. Adler (aka B. Kovner), and he read for Adler in his own innovative manner his new poems.  Adler brought him together with Ab. Cahan, editor of Forverts (Forward), who gave him the new name “A. Lutski,” and over the course of a year’s time, Cahan published a poem by Lutski every Saturday in Forverts.  The young poet was recognized by the poets and critics of that time, especially the “Yunge” (young ones) group who designated his poetry a kind of imitation of Avrom Reyzen’s poetry.  Reyzen himself, though, saw in Lutski a rising, original talent, befriended him, and encouraged him to write.  In 1918 Lutski was drafted into the American army, took part in the battles at Verdun in France and on the battlefield turned his line of vision to the task of a poet in a new era.  In a letter to Avrom Reyzen, to whom Lutski left his published poems, before leaving for the war, to have them published in a book “should the opportunity arise,” Lutski wrote: “After a war like this, one should write poems unlike those one writes now.”  When he returned from war in 1919, he actually fashioned his own Lutski style, which established him as a unique figure in modern Yiddish poetry.  The Forverts as well as other newspapers were not terribly excited about them, except for Arn Karlin’s journal Di feder (The pen) in 1919; he published Lutski’s poems, and no recognition on the part of Lutski’s poet-colleagues came in the end.  He himself wrote of this: “The young poets consider my prewar poetry as too old and the postwar poems too young, too new.  If I don’t write something as one ordinarily does, they complain.”  A break in relations for Lutski came thanks to a letter from Bal-Makhshoves to the “Y. L. Perets Writers’ Union” in New York: “I relay,” wrote Bal-Makhshoves, “greetings to the wonderful poet A. Lutski, whom I am reading in Di feder.”  From that point on, Lutski’s poems appeared in: Der groyser kundes (The great prankster), In zikh (Introspective), Nay-yidish (New Yiddish), and Kinder-zhurnal (Children’s magazine), among others, in New York.  In 1921 he appeared with his own distinctive way of personifying and delivering his poems, and from that point on he would frequently artistically perform his improvisations and poems on evenings especially arranged for him.  Later, eminent Yiddish artists and performers would recite his poems.  His poems “A khasene” (A wedding), “Valts” (Waltz), “Baym rebns tish” (At the rebbe’s table), and “A tepl fasolyes” (A pot of beans), among others, crossed frontiers and oceans and were read aloud and performed at literary evenings throughout the Jewish world.  In 1927 his first collection of poems appeared in print: Nemt es, s’iz gut far aykh (Grab this, it’ll be good for you), “four books in one volume: (1) alive and happy; (2) songs and dances; (3) a little lonesome; (4) all together” (New York: Abonentn, 1927), 368 pp., with 35 pp. of “Critics on A. Lutsi,” published on thin paper, pocket format, bound in leather.  His second book, Breyshes inmitn, poetishe filosofye iber vern un tseshtern (In the middle of Genesis, poetic philosophy concerning becoming and destroying) (New York, 1932), 224 pp.  Later works include: Portretn fun shrayber, maler, muziker, aktyorn un arbeter-firer, di pney fun der idishe velt (Portraits of writers, painters, musicians, actors, and labor leaders, the elite of the Jewish world) (New York, 1945), 233 pp.; A bukh tsum lebn (A book to life), “A new book / With new substance / Idea-song / With something more / Accompanied by joy by A. Lutski” (New York, 1948), 317 pp.  Lutski never took up any other form of work, only his poetry.  He published his books himself (with the assistance of individual admirers of his) and distributed them himself.  In addition, over the course of many years, he published his poems every Saturday in Tog (Day), often as well is: Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor), Tsukunft (Future), Frayhayt (Freedom), Der amerikaner (The American), Shriftn (Writings) edited by Dovid Ignatov, Unzer bukh (Our book), Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), among others.  His work also appeared in M. Basin’s anthology Amerikaner yidishe poezye (American Yiddish poetry), with a series of poems (New York, 1940), pp. 470-90; and Basin, comp., Yidishe poezye af amerikaner motivn, zamlung (Yiddish poetry on American motifs, collection) (New York: World Jewish Culture Congress, 1955?), commemorating the 300-year jubilee of the Jewish community in America; Sh. Meltser’s anthology, Al naharot (To the rivers) (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 1956); M. Yofe’s anthology, Erets-yisroel in der yidisher literatur (Israel in Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1961).  His poems have also been translated into English and published in the Sunday literary review in The New York Times.  Lutski died of a heart attack while asleep in his bedroom in New York.  One year after his death, there was published under the supervision of A. Karlin the volume Fun aldos guts (From all that’s good), “one will find in this book: poetry, philosophy, essays, novellas, portraits, humor, and satire” (New York: Di feder, 1958), 360 pp.  It included: A. Karlin, “Loyb-gezangen fun farerer tsu dem dikhter a. lutski” (A eulogy from admirers for the poet A. Lutski), pp. 23-33; the first poems that he published (as Arn Tsuker) in Yidishes tageblat and poems published in Forverts, 1917-1918; “Vi di kritiker hobn zikh opgerufn af di shafungen fun a. lutski” (How the critics responded to the creative work of A. Lutski), pp. 312-33; and a bibliography compiled by Yefim Yeshurin, pp. 334-55 which was also separately published (New York, 1959).  In his connection to Lutsi’s poetry, Shmuel Niger experienced a certain development over time.  In 1921 he saw no more than trickery in Lutski’s creations.  In 1923 Niger wrote: “A. Litski’s improvisations are poignant, polished, and cultivated.”  In 1939 he wrote: “Lutski is the master of the Yiddish word.”  “When Lutski sets out to recount…a drama of paper in the wind and beans in a pot of boiling water,” noted Shloyme Bikl, “inanimate nature comes to life poetically and dynamically….  The magic of theatrical movement, of spectacular drama that Lutski sought to enact from everything and everyone around him was for him, and occasionally for us, the joyful illusion of his poem.”  “A. Lutski was—in poetic form, in language, and in innovative content,” wrote Meylekh Ravits, “one of the most original of Yiddish poets.  His poetry—a kind of poetic pantheism.  Everything lives, speaks, and thinks in his poems; everything is not only alive but also humanized.  Minerals, plants, human life, and desert—all of a piece—the borders gone.  The joy and will of life on the one hand—despair and fatalism on the other.  [He was] a singing philosopher, a ‘minstrel’ in the twentieth century.  It is no coincidence that Lutski was such a masterly interpreter of his own poems, for he and his poetry were one—body and soul, word and content.”

Sources: In addition to the bibliography of Y. Yeshurin mentioned above: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (August 1, 1920; May 21, 1926; February 19, 1928; March 4, 1932; November 13, 1932; January 8, 1933; May 14, 1933; March 26, 1939; October 7, 1940); Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1928), pp. 361-64; Niger, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), “Yidn 3” (New York, 1942), col. 169; E. Almi, Literarishe nesies (Literary travels) (Warsaw, 1931), pp. 95ff; Almi, Mentshn un ideyen (Men and ideas) (Warsaw, 1933), pp. 222-40; Almi, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (December 13, 1957); William Natanson, Inteligent, kunst un kinstler, literatur in likht fun filosfye (Intellectual, art and artist, literature in light of philosophy) (Vilna, 1931); Natanson, in Kalifornyer yidishe bleter (?) (September 1, 1955); Natanson, in Kheshbn (Los Angeles) (January 1957; May 1958); Kultur kvaln, filosofish literarishe eseyen (Sources of culture, philosophical literary essays) (Buenos Aires, 1959); Z. Vaynper, Yidishe shriftshteler (Yiddish writers), vol. 1 (New York, 1933), pp. 147-56; Vaynper, in Di feder (New York, 1945); Sh. Rozhanski, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (February 19, 1936; September 17, 1957); Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), p. 186; M. Basin, Amerikaner yidishe poezye (American Yiddish poetry) (New York, 1940), pp. 477-90; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 7, 1945; Mukdoni, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (November 1957); Mukdoni, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 29 (1957); Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (September 4, 1953); Glatshteyn, In tokh genumer (In essence) (New York, 1956), pp. 297-300; Glatshteyn, in Tsukunft (February 1959); Glatshteyn, In tokh genumen, vol. 2 (New York, 1960), pp. 265-72; A. Tabatshnik, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 19, 1955); Tabatshnik, in Zayn (New York) (March 1958); B. Y. Byalostotski, Kholem un var (Dream and reality) (New York, 1956), pp. 131ff; Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (October 13, 1957); Bikl, Shrayber fun mayn dor (Writers of my generation) (New York, 1958), pp. 58-63; S. Dingol, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (September 21, 1957); L. Faynberg, in Tsukunft (November 1957); E. Fershleyser, Af shrayberishe shlyakhn, kritishe eseyen (On writerly paths, critical essay) (New York, 1958), pp. 82-93; B. Rivkin, Yidishe dikhter in amerike (Yiddish poets in America) (Buenos Aires, 1959), pp. 172-90; Y. Varshavski, in Forverts (New York) (December 11, 1960); Y. Bronshteyn, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (January 31, 1962); Joseph Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (London, 1961), p. 300.
Zaynvl Diamant

Monday 27 February 2017


YITSKHOK LUFBAN (LOFBAN, LAUFBAHN) (July 17, 1888-September 10, 1948)
           He was born in Dembitse (Dębica), western Galicia.  He studied in religious elementary school, synagogue study hall, and later under the influence of Jewish Enlightenment literature, he turned his attention to secular knowledge.  He was the leader of the Dębica group in the Zionist youth movement “Hashaḥar” (The dawn) of western Galicia.  He began writing around 1904, initially in Hebrew in Hashaḥar in Torne (Tornów), later in Yiddish for Di naye folks-tsaytng (The new people’s newspaper) in Reyshe (Rzeszów), edited by Naftole Zigel, and in the Polish-language Morija (Moriya) in Lemberg.  In 1908 he left for the land of Israel, joined the Labor Zionist movement, and worked for a time with Eliezer Ben-Yehuda’s newspaper Hatsvi (The gazelle) in Jerusalem.  In 1910 he departed for Switzerland where he was an early auditor in the philosophy department of Zurich University.  He returned to Israel in 1912 and edited the issues of Ḥovarot medaiyot amamiyot (Popular science pamphlets), put out by the publisher Laam.  In 1914 he became assistant editor (and during WWI the editor) of the weekly Hapoel hatsair (The young worker).  He was a member of the Asefat Hanivḥarim (Assembly of Representatives) and of the cultural council of the Zionist Organization, a delegate to Zionist congresses, and, with the unification of Aḥdut haavoda (Union of labor) and the Labor Zionists, he was a member of the central committee of Mapai.  In 1921 he came to Poland on an assignment from the party.  In Warsaw he edited the newspaper Folk un land (People and land), and later he edited Arbayts-folk (Working people) in Berlin, published articles and travel narratives in Haynt (Today) in Warsaw and in Tog (Day) in Cracow, edited by Yoyne Krepl, and in other Yiddish, Polish, and German Zionist publications in Poland, Austria, Germany, and other countries.  After the death of Yoysef Aronovitsh, editor of Hapoel hatsair, Lufban edited the weekly over the course of thirty years and published essays, monographs, and political articles.  He also contributed work to: Hashiloa (The shiloah), Hatekufa (The epoch), Moznaim (Scales), Arakhin (Vows), and Maabarot (Fords), among others.  Into Hebrew he translated Emil Ludwig’s Napoleon in two volumes (Berlin-Tel Aviv, 1930).  He edited several issues of the monthly journal Aḥdut haavoda, and he was also compiler of the articles by Chaim Weizmann (published by Mitspe in 1934).  In Yiddish he published the pamphlet, Far vos zaynen mir gegen revizyonism? (Why are we opposed to Revisionism?), in which was included his article “L״b perushim” (Thirty-two commentaries) and an article by A. Tsioni, “Di opozitsye” (The opposition) (Warsaw: Folk un land, 1927), 46 pp.  He wrote introductions to works by Khayim Orlozorov, Yoysef Aronovitsh, and Yankev Zandbek, and to the anthology Pirke hapoel hatsair (Selections from The Young Worker).  Shortly before his death, he edited the collection Arbaim shana (Forty years) on the fortieth anniversary of Hapoel hatsair.  He died in Tel Aviv.  After his death, two books by him appeared: Anshe segula (Virtuous people), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1949), 552 pp., a collection of his essays on Jewish and Gentile personalities, which had been published in various newspapers and periodicals; Mivar kitve y. lufban (Selections from the writings of Y. Lufban) (Tel Aviv, 1954), 564 pp., edited by N. Teradion, with critical assessments by Dov Sadan and Yitsḥak Elazar Volcani.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 4 (Tel Aviv, 1950), pp. 1604-5; Gershon Bader, Medina veḥakhameha (The state and its sages) (New York, 1934); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937); Dov Sadan, Kearat tsimukim (A bowl of raisins) (Tel Aviv, 1950); Y. Kahan, in Gesharim (Bridges) (Tel Aviv, 1954/1955); Dr. N. Gelber, Toldot hatenua hatsiyonit begalitsiya (History of the Zionist movement in Galicia) (Jerusalem, 1958).

Sunday 26 February 2017


MALKIEL LUSTERNIK (1911-summer 1942)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland, into a home of Zionist followers of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He studied in Yitskhok Katsenelson’s Hebrew school, later graduating from a Polish Hebrew high school in Lodz, and then he studied humanities and early literature at Warsaw University.  Under the influence of Katsenelson, he began in 1927 to write poetry, first in Hebrew and later also in Yiddish.  He published the Hebrew poetry in Baderekh (On the road) in Warsaw, and the Yiddish poems in publications of the young Yiddish writers’ group in Lodz.  He later contributed as well to: Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) and Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw—both his own poems and translations of modern Hebrew poetry.  He also translated into Hebrew from modern Yiddish poetry, mainly from the Lodz poets (Broderzon, Rabon, Kh. L. Fuks, Yisroel Shtern, and others).  He contributed to the yearbook Sefer hashana leyehude polaniya (Yearbook for Polish Jews) (Warsaw, 1934-1936), as well as in the Polish Jewish press in Poland.  He was editor of the Hebrew-language anthology Reshit (Beginning) in Lodz (1933), in which he wrote about Yiddish literature.  He was a member of the editorial board of the quarterly Teḥumim (Boundaries) in Lodz-Warsaw (1937-1939).  In book form: A. d. gordon, zayn lebn un shafn (A. D. Gordon, his life and work) in Yiddish and Polish (Warsaw, 1935?), 48 pp.; Sufat aviv, shirim (Spring storm, poems) (Lodz-Warsaw, 1937), 96 pp.  When the Nazis seized Lodz, Lusternik fled to Warsaw, and in the Warsaw Ghetto he was active in Jewish community life.  He was a cofounder—with Elkhonen Tsaytlin, Dr. Hillel Zaydman, and others—of the Zionist Hebrew underground group “Tekuma” (Resistance).  In the summer of 1942 he made an attempt to sneak out of the ghetto, but he was seen by the German guard and shot by the ghetto gate.

Sources: Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 22, 1935); Dr. H. Zaydman, Tog-bukh fun varshever geto (Diary from the Warsaw Ghetto) (Buenos Aires, 1947), p. 140; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 219, 261; A. Indelman, in Udim (Firebrands) (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 145-55.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


            He was born in Khelm (Chełm), Poland.  He was a member of the administration of ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), secretary of the craftsmen’s union, and an active leader in the Tarbut schools in Chełm.  Over the years 1930-1933, he edited the craftsmen’s section of Khelmer vokhnblat (Chełm weekly newspaper).  From 1934 he was a member of the editorial board of the weekly Khelmer shtime (Voice of Chełm), later its editor—until the day of his death in the ghetto under the Nazis.

Sources: H. Shishler, in Yizker-bukh khelm (Remembrance volume for Chełm) (Johannesburg, 1954), see index; Shishler, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 5, 1948).


AVROM LUSTIGMAN (b. April 4, 1910)
            He was born in Kutne (Kutno), Poland.  He received a religious education, later studying at a Polish high school.  From 1934 he was living in the land of Israel.  He established in Jerusalem the book publisher “Or laam” (Light to the people).  In 1925 he began publishing stories in: Kinder velt (Children’s world) in Warsaw and Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna.  He contributed stories, sketches, and Arabic legends in Hebrew publications and to Tsien yugnt (Zion youth) in Jerusalem and to Velt-zhurnal (World journal) and Tidishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper) in Tel Aviv.  In 1961 he launched the weekly newspaper Naye yisroel tsaytung (New Israel newspaper) in Tel Aviv and in 1972, with others, the periodical Oyfgang (Arise) in Ḥolon.  Among his pen names: Levi ben Menakhem, Ben Menakhem, A Lustig, A. Man, A. Lusi, B. Ilni, and A. M. Shaanan, among others.

Lustigman during the War on Independence

Source: M. Hampel, in Yidishe tsaytung (Tel Aviv) (July 11, 1975).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 326.


GETSL LUSTGARTN (1907-June 14, 1969)
            He was born in Shedlets (Siedlce), Poland.  He studied in religious primary school and yeshiva.  He was a boot-maker who became involved with the Bund, in which he was active his entire life.  From 1930 he was living in Warsaw.  During WWII he was captured in Soviet Bialystok, was arrested several times, and exiled by the Soviet authorities.  After liberation he returned to Poland and in 1948 he left for Israel.  In book form: In vander un gerangl, 1939-1968 (Wanderings and struggles, 1939-1968), memoirs (Tel Aviv, 1968), 274 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: M. Frenkel, in Unzer shtime (Paris) (June 28, 1969); H. K[empinski], in Unzer tsayt (New York) (October 1969).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 326.


            He was born in Kovno, Lithuania, into a family of fine pedigree.  He received a strictly religious education.  At age six he was already studying Talmud, and at age twelve he was well known as a prodigy.  After his bar mitzvah, out of fear that this bright, young lad might become infected by the Jewish Enlightenment, his father sent him in 1869 to Jerusalem, where he studied at the Ets Ḥayim (Tree of life) yeshiva, although he yielded there to the temptation of the Enlightenment, and he was expelled from the yeshiva.  Because of persecutions inflicted upon him by zealots, he was compelled for a time to leave Jerusalem, turn to take up teaching, publishing articles in the Hebrew-language press—in Hamagid (The preacher), Ivri anokhi (I am Jewish), Hatsfira (The siren), and Hashaḥar (The dawn)—later returning to Jerusalem, where he was one of the founders there of the first library (1874), and he then turned his attention completely in the direction of research on the land of Israel in its past and present—a field that earlier had been solely the ken of non-Jews.  In 1876 he published the text, Netivot tsiyon viyerushalayim (The pathways of Zion and Jerusalem), on the geography of Jerusalem and environs.  In 1878 he published in the journal Shaare tsiyon (Gates of Zion), which he also edited, an article on the history of Jews in Israel from the time of Ramban [Naḥmanides] until the end of the fifteenth century.  His scholarly work in the field of research on Israel did not cease even when he became blind (ca. 1878).  In 1896 he began to publish his Luaḥ erets-yisrael (Calendar of Israel) which was renowned in the field.  Over the course of forty years after becoming blind, he wrote hundreds of articles in his field of research, and he published in Hebrew, German, and Yiddish essays and books, thirteen volumes of the collection Yerushalayim (Jerusalem), twenty-one volumes of Luaḥ erets-yisrael, three volumes of Hamaamad (The deputation), and more.  In Yiddish he published the volume Durkh palestina, ayne oysfihrlikhe geografishe und historishe bashraybung aller ortshaften palestinas, alles nokh di nayeste nokhforshungen, nebst mehrere interesante abbildungen in holts-shnit (Through Palestine, a detailed geographical and historical description of all the places in Palestine, all according to the latest research, the most interesting representations in woodcut) (Jerusalem: 1894/1895), 212 pp.  In the foreword to this book, he apologizes for turning his attention to “publishing a journalistic work, for while there are descriptions of Palestine in every language, only in zhargon [Yiddish], despite the number of its speakers amoutning to six million, there has not been a single book published on this topic.”  Together with the well-known advocate of Bilu—“Bet yaakov lekhu venelkha” (Let the house of Jacob go!), an early movement to settle the land of Israel—and agronomist Menashe Mairovitsh, he edited and published in Rishon Lezion a quarterly journal in Yiddish and Hebrew entitled Der kolonist—haikar (The settler), running to eighty pages per issues (1893-1894).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (with a bibliography); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 46-47; Ben-Tsvi, in Luaḥ aḥiever (New York) (1918), pp. 38-39; E. R. Malachi, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1928); Malachi, in Hadoar (New York) (December 19, 1952; December 26, 1952; January 9, 1953); Malachi, in Unzer horizont (New York) (April 1958); Malachi, in Berazim (Faucets) (Tel Aviv, 1961), pp. 276-77; M. Unger, in Zamlbukh lekoved dem tsveyhundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese, 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1936/1937), pp. 585-86; Dov Sadan, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 16 (1953); A. Toybnhoyz, in Der amerikaner (New York) (May 20, 1955); Y. Rafael, Rishonim beaḥaronim (Earlier and later sages) (Tel Aviv, 1949/1950), pp. 360-66.
Mortkhe Yofe


Y. KH. LUNER (ca. 1885-August 1, 1915)
            He was born in Bialystok, Russian Poland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1907.  He was a close collaborator of Avrom Reyzen on Der nayer land (The new land), in which he published poems and articles—among them, “Knut hamsun un di yuden” (Knut Hamsun and the Jews) in issue no. 15.  He stood close to the Jewish labor movement and contributed to Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor) and Tsukunft (Future), among other serials in New York.  Because of an illness he moved to California, where he was one of the pioneers of the Yiddish press and the principal contributor to the weekly Der progres (Progress) in Los Angeles.  He died in Los Angeles.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; B. Rivkin, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1915); Sh. Naumov, in Di tsayt (New York) (January 16, 1922); Kheshbon (Los Angeles) 5 (1954), p. 34.
Yankev Kahan


KHAYKL LUNSKI (June 29, 1881-1942/1943)
            He was born in Slonim, Byelorussia, to a father who was a teacher in a religious elementary school who descended from the Königsberg rabbi, R. Leybele the Baal-Pardes.  From age four he studied in a religious elementary school, from eight in the Slonim yeshiva, and at age thirteen he was proficient in two entire orders of the Talmud; he went on to study in the yeshivas of Slonim and Lide (Lida).  In 1892 he moved to Vilna, where for two years he served as a beadle in the Old Shul (alte kloyz) there.  He turned his attention to secular matters in 1893—through his acquaintance with the editor of Hakarmel (The Carmel), the bibliophile Khayim-Leyb Markon.  He was active in Zionist groups, founded a charity association and groups for study in the small prayer houses of the city.  In Vilna in late 1895, he became the librarian and manager of the Strashun Library, where he became the “guardian of Jerusalem of Lithuania” [Vilna], recalling thousands of details of all the brilliant minds of Vilna, and to every question he could find the text with the appropriate answer.  Indefatigably he collected books, rare manuscripts, and historical documents, and cared for them in the temple of the Jewish spirit, the Strashun Library.  During the years of WWI he aided the Jews expelled the Kovno and Courland regions, and in 1919-1920 he helped those re-immigrating from deep in Russia and were scattered about in the Vilna synagogues and their courtyards.  In late 1918 he aided Sh. An-ski found the Jewish historical and ethnographic society, collected for its archive and museum thousands of documents, religious texts, pictures, records, and folklore materials, as well as records of the society itself (1922) and its musical materials.  Lunski was also an active member of the bibliographic commission of YIVO.  As a writer he began in 1905 in Luaḥ erets-yisrael (Calendar of the land of Israel) of A. M. Lunts in Jerusalem with two poems of a Zionist bent.  He went on to publish a short religious work entitled Toldot hagaon hatsadik maran r’ mordekhai vaytsel (Biography of the brilliant, sagely teacher R. Mordekhai Vaytsel) (Vilna, 1916/1917), 23 pp., a short biography of the Slonim rabbi, grandfather of Lunski’s deceased wife.  He began writing in Yiddish in 1917 in Vilner zamlbukh (Vilna anthology), vol. 2 (1918), with a treatment entitled “Vilner kloyzn un der shulhoyf” (The Vilna prayer houses and the courtyard [of the Great Synagogue]); and in Pinkes (Records), edited by Zalmen Reyzen, with the essay “Der hunger un yakres in vilne in der tsayt fun okupatsye” (Hunger and scarcity in Vilna at the time of the occupation) and, together with Y. Broydes, a listing of the announcements of the occupiers in Vilna.  He contributed as well to the monthly Di naye velt (The new world) (Vilna, 1919).  Lunski attracted a great deal of attention for his pamphlet Fun vilner geto, geshtaltn un bilder, geshribn in shvere tsaytn (From the Vilna ghetto, images and pictures, written in difficult times) (Vilna: Association of Jewish writers and journalists in Vilna, 1920), 70 pp., with a preface by H. Yeivin; this work also appeared in Hebrew as Mehageto havilnai, tipusim utselilim (From the Vilna ghetto, images and shadows) (Vilna: Association of Jewish writers and journalists in Vilna, 1920), 70 pp.  “This pamphlet,” wrote Shmuel Niger, “is a sort of renewal of past record books.  It was created, in fact, by one man, but in this man lives the spirit and likeness of the old Jewish chronicler.  With his mouth the old Vilna speaks to us.  It tells us not about the past but about contemporary events….  He recounts everything not as a historian but as a chronicler—that is, as a person who has himself lived through it all with the people.”  Lunski also published memoirs concerning Sh. An-ski and A. Vayter (in M. Shalit’s Lebn [Life] and in Vilna’s Tog [Day]) and in a separate publication Legendes vegn vilner goen (Legends of the Vilna Gaon) (Vilna, 1925), 24 pp.; and in the Orthodox weekly newspaper Dos vort (The word) in Vilna (1925), he published a series of articles about a number of great rabbis, which came out in book form under the title Geoynim un gedoylim fun noentn over, 10 sipurim un agodes fun zeyer lebn un shafn (Brilliant and prominent men of the recent past, ten stories and tales from their lives and works), with photographs (Vilna, 1931), 103 pp.  He was also concerned with bibliographic work and with compiling a catalogue of the Strashun Library and a listing of the pamphlets and manuscripts of A. M. Dik.  He amassed thousands of books for the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, made excerpts from old Yiddish religious texts and responsa works, from which he published “Iserlin’s yidish” (Iserlin’s Yiddish), with notes by Max Weinreich, in Yidishe filologye (Yiddish philology) (Warsaw) 1 (1924), pp. 288-302, and “Yidish bay r’ yankev vayln (The Yiddish of R. Yankev Vayln), Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) 1 (1926), pp. 285-88.  He also published work in Vilner yorbikher (Vilna yearbooks) and in the Pinkes (Records) on the history of Vilna in the years of WWI and occupation (Vilna, 1922).  He also authored the legend Purim saragosa (Purim in Saragossa) (Vilna, 1928), 21 pp.  He was arrested by the Nazis when they entered Vilna in 1941 and then released.  In the ghetto he worked in the reading room, and he wrote works about the tombstones in the oldest Jewish cemetery in Vilna and about the Jewish publishing houses in the city.  He kept a diary of his life in the ghetto.  He was in the ghetto until the end of 1941 and then was deported to his death in Treblinka, according to Katsherginski; according to other information, he was tortured by the Nazis in Vilna and died in September 1942.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (with a bibliography); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) (June 1921); Bal-Dimyen, in Tsukunft (June-September 1923); Pinkes fun yekopo (Records of Yekopo [Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”]) (Vilna, 1931), see index; Vilne (Vilna), anthology, ed. Y. Yeshurin (New York, 1935), pp. 739-40; N. Vaynig, in Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) (March 17, 1933); A. Gaselnik, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 14.1-2 (1939), pp. 175-77; Yidies fun yivo (New York) 6 (1944), with a photograph of Lunski; Sh. Katsherginski, in Tsukunft (September 1946); Katsherginski, in Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947); A. Tsintsinatus, Bleter vegn vilne, zamlbukh (Pages about Vilna, a collection) (Lodz, 1947); Dr. M. Dvorzhetski (Mark Dvorzetsky), Yerusholayim delite in kamf un umkum (The Jerusalem of Lithuania in struggle and death) (Paris, 1948), see index; Dr. F. Fridman, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 34 (1950), p. 232; Shmerke katsherginski ondenk-bukh (Shmerke Katsherginski remembrance volume) (Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 288; Sh. Sreberk, Zikhronot hamotsi laor (Memoirs of a publisher) (Tel Aviv, 1954), p. 112; A. Reznik, in Hapoel hatsair (Tel Aviv) (December 31, 1958); H. Abramovitsh, Farshvundene geshtaltn (Disappeared figures) (Buenos Aires, 1958), pp. 93-99; Udim (Firebrands) (Jerusalem, 1960), pp. 280-87; H. Kruk, Togbukh fun vilner geto (Diary of the Vilna ghetto) (New York, 1961), pp. 73, 82, 123-24, 163, 178-79, 208.
Mortkhe Yofe

Thursday 23 February 2017


IDE LUNSKI (1889-March 19, 1924)
            She was the sister of Khaykl Lunski, born in Slonim, Byelorussia, to a father who was a teacher in a religious elementary school.  In 1896 she moved with her parents to Vilna, where she graduated from a Russian high school and a Hebrew school.  For a time she studied pedagogy at the University of Berlin.  From 1911 until her death, she worked as a teacher of natural science in Jewish public schools and in the Jewish high school in Vilna.  For a time she worked in the dormitory for Vilna children in Otvosk (Otwock).  In 1914 she began to publish children’s stories in Grininke beymelekh (Little green trees) in Vilna, and later she contributed as well to Vilner tog (Vilna day), as well as to the Hebrew children’s magazine Shovelim (Trails) in Warsaw (1922-1923), among others.  In books form, she published: Dertseylungen vegn vilde mentshn (Stories about wild people) (Vilna, 1922), 56 pp., with pictures.  In the summer of 1923 she became ill with tuberculosis, and she traveled to Vienna to recover; she died there.  On the first anniversary of her death, a work of hers appeared in print: Der ayzperyod (The ice age) (Vilna, 1925), including estimations of her by Khaykl Lunski, Sh. L. Tsitron, Zalmen Reyzen, and Gershon Pludermakher.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (under the biography for Khaykl Lunski); Di naye shul (Vilna) 1-3 (1924), pp. 146-47.
Khayim Leyb Fuks



            He was a literary critic and linguistic, born in the town of Kanyev (Kaniv), Ukraine, to a father who was a leather worker. He received a traditional Jewish education both at home and in religious primary school, and at the same time a general education in a Russian school. He was later an intensive self-learner. In the early 1920s he founded a children’s home in his hometown for orphans and pogrom victims, and he worked there as an educator and teacher. He went on to organize a youth home in the city of Boslev (Bohuslav), while he taught language and literature in a middle school. In 1930 he graduated from the literature and linguistics division of the Second Moscow State University, continued his pedagogical activities, and turned his attention to scholarly work in the field of Yiddish linguistics and pedagogy. At that time he debuted in print with poetry and dramatic studies in children and youth magazines in Moscow. He published articles in scholarly publications (see below), such as the Kiev journal Di yidishe shprakh (The Yiddish language). He lectured in the linguistics section in the Department of Soviet Yiddish Literature, Language, and Folklore in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. From 1931 he was a research student, and thereafter a scholarly collaborator in the philology section of the Kiev Institute of Jewish Culture in the Academy. In 1937 he successfully defended his dissertation and became a “Candidate in Philological Science.”

            He continued his research on questions of language and style in the artistic Yiddish literature: Sholem-Aleichem, Dovid Hofshteyn, Dovid Bergelson, and others. He dedicated a series of works to actual problems of pedagogy, connected to teaching language and literature in Jewish schools—when such schools were in existence. In the 1920s and 1930s, he achieved much in the field of preparation of textbooks for language and literature for Jewish schools, and actively participated in the collective work on the great Russian-Yiddish dictionary which only appeared after his death.

In 1942 he—together with Elye Spivak and Moyshe Maydanski—worked on a text in Yiddish and Russian “concerning the Yiddish literary language, its history, and its contemporary state,” as well as on a text concerning “issues in new word creation in Soviet Yiddish poetry.” Portions of these works appeared over the course of 1942-1943 in publications of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He completed a work, entitled “Di shprakh fun dovid bergelson” (The language of Dovid Bergelson), and was working on the language of Perets Markish. In 1946 he was working on a study, “Sholem-aleykhem in ukraine” (Sholem-Aleykhem in Ukraine). In 1948 he was head of the literary division of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. He was arrested on May 5, 1949, charged with “anti-Soviet activities” and “espionage associations with Americans,” and sentenced to fifteen years of forced labor. He was freed on April 27, 1955, and from that time until the end of his life, he produced nothing further in the field of Yiddish literary or linguistic research. He was later rehabilitated.

Among his important published articles: on language in Shmuel Godiner’s novel Der mentsh mit der biks (The man with the rifle), in Di yidishe shprakh (1930); “Tsu der lektsik un vortbildung bay dovid hofshteyn” (On Dovid Hofshteyn’s vocabulary and language education), Di yidishe shprakh (November-December 1930), cols. 25-30; “Vegn reyd-antviklung in di eltere klasn” (On speech development among the older classes), Ratnbildung (Soviet education) (Kharkov-Kiev) 3 (1934), pp. 53-64; “Vegn dem tsushtand funem shprakh-limed in shul” (On the standing of the field of language in school), Afn shprakhfront (On the language front) (Kiev) 3-4 (1935); “Vegn der leksik fun albertons personazhn” (On the vocabulary of Alberton’s personages), Afn shprakhfront 1 (1937), pp. 47-65; “Vi azoy di yidishe tsaytungen in ratn-farband zetsn iber stalins redes” (How the Yiddish newspapers in the Soviet Union translate Stalin’s speeches), Afn shprakhfront 2.2 (1937), pp. 65-96; “Frages fun dikhterishe iberzetsung” (Questions of poetic translation), Afn shprakhfront 2.3 (1937), pp. 21-70, an analysis of the Yiddish translations of Pushkin’s poetry rendered by Dovid Hofshteyn, Ezra Fininberg, Lipe Reznik, Moyshe Khashtshevatski, Yosl Kotler, and Hersh Remenik; “Humor in sholem-aleykhems shprakh” (Humor in Sholem-Aleichem’s language), Afn shprakhfront 2.4 (1937), pp. 17-66.

His books include: Tsum nayem lebn, khrestomatye far onfangs-shuln fun algemeyner bildung far dervaksene (Toward a new life, a reader for beginning school in general education for adults), with Y. Baksht and G. Entin (Moscow-Kharkov-Minsk: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1930), 245 pp.; Shprakh-genitungen (Language exercises), with A. Gelbman (Kiev-Kharkov: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1936), 103 pp., second edition (1937), third edition (1938), 112 pp.; Yidish in shul (Yiddish in school), “according to the materials of inquiry, May 1935” (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1936), 67 pp.; Gramatik (Grammar), “textbook for the fifth and sixth classes in middle school” (Kiev: Ukrainian State Publishers for National Minorities, 1938), with Moyshe Shapiro, part 1, “Morphology”; Gramatik un ortografye, lernbukh far 3tn klas (Grammar and orthography, textbook for the third class), with Ayzik Zaretski (Kiev, 1938), 135 pp., appearing in numerous editions, among them Kovno (Society of lovers of knowledge, 1940); Zamlung fun sistematishe diktantn far der onfang- un mitl-shul (Collection of systematic dictations for elementary and middle school), with Moyshe Shapiro (Kiev, 1940), 143 pp.

Sources: N. Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband 1933 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union, 1933) (Minsk, 1935), p. 67; Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband 1934 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union, 1934) (Minsk, 1935), p. 63; Rubinshteyn, Dos yidishe bukh in sovetn-farband 1935 (The Yiddish book in the Soviet Union, 1935) (Minsk, 1936), pp. 19, 29; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO), vol. 1 (Warsaw, 1928); Y. Mark, “Yidishe lingvistishe arbet in sovetn-farband) (Yiddish linguistics work in the Soviet Union), Yivo-bleter (New York) 16.1 (September-October 1940), pp. 31ff, 16.2 (November-December 1940), pp. 150-54; A. Kahan, in Eynikeyt (Moscow) (July 15, 1942; April 5, 1943; April 2, 1946); M. Man, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 34; Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index.

Zaynvl Diamant

[Additional information from: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 195-96.]

Wednesday 22 February 2017


YISROEL-LEYB LOYFER (1897-April 1942)
            He was born in Tomaszów Mazowiecki, near Lodz, Poland.  He studied in religious elementary school and synagogue study hall, and with private tutors he acquired secular knowledge.  In 1921 he settled in Opotshne (Opoczno), where he took up business.  At the same time he was an active leader among the right Labor Zionists and a representative of them in the city council.  In 1928 he moved to Paris and from there to Antwerp, Belgium.  He wrote Hassidic tales for Tomashover vokhnblat (Tomaszów weekly newspaper) in 1925, and later published stories and correspondence pieces on Jewish life in Belgium in: Nayer folksblat (New people’s newspaper) in Lodz; Yidishe prese (Jewish press) and Belgishe bleter (Belgian pages) in Antwerp; Yidish vokh (Jewish week) and Belgishe tog (Belgian day) in Brussels; Unzer vort (Our word), Di naye tsayt (The new time), and Parizer haynt (Paris today) in Paris.  He served as the Belgian correspondent for Dos vort (The word) in Warsaw.  During WWII he lived illegally in Antwerp.  On April 10, 1942, the Gestapo seized him and together with Dr. Y. B. Tsipur and Beynish Zilbershteyn, he was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there.

Sources: Y. Ts. Lemel, in Der amerikaner (New York) (December 3, 1946); A. Dorf, in Unzer vort (Brussels) (February 7, 1947; April 18, 1947); information from Moyshe Dluzhnovski and Dovid Lehrer in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


FROYM LOYTER (1890-1963)
            He was born in Berdichev, Zhitomir district, Ukraine.  He graduated from a senior high school in Vilna, where he was a classmate of the poet Leyb Naydus.  His journalistic work began in the Russian-language Severo-zapadnii golos (Northwestern voice) in Vilna.  In Yiddish he penned theater reviews for Vilner vokhnblat (Vilna weekly newspaper), beginning to appear in 1906.  In 1911 he published the story “Di likht iz oysgegangen” (The light went out) in the Vilna almanac Knaspen (Buds).  In 1912 he published in Fraynd (Friend) in Warsaw a series of translations and reworked notes and legends (assembled by Nevelsky and by the Jewish historical-ethnographic society of Russia) on the role played by Jews in the war between Russian and Napoleonic forces.  He was close to the Zionist socialist party in Russia.  During WWI he was fully authorized by Yekopo (Yevreyskiy komitet pomoshchi zhertvam voyny—“Jewish Relief Committee for War Victims”) and directed the relief activities for homeless Jews in central Russia.  He was also active in the Yiddish school movement.  After the March Revolution (1917), he and the Russian poet Jurgis Baltrušaitis published in Moscow an almanac of Jewish literature in Russian.  Later in Kiev he published (using the pen name A. Yasni) articles in a variety of publications, as well as in Di naye tsayt (The new time), organ of the “Fareynikte” (United socialist party).  From 1919 he was principally active as a theatrical director and educator of young Jewish actors.  He contributed to the first Yiddish theatrical studio connected to the Kiev “Kultur-lige” (Culture league).  Over the years 1921-1923, he directed plays by Perets, Sholem-Aleykhem, and Hirshbeyn in the Kiev Jewish State Theater.  He directed a Yiddish theater studio in Baku, 1924-1925, with which he staged Yisroel Aksenfeld’s Di genarte velt (The cheated public).  Over the years 1926-1928, he directed at the Kharkov “Republican Yiddish Theater” stage work by Mendele, Goldfaden, Ash (Asch), and Soviet Yiddish dramatists.  He participated, 1919-1934, in the theater studio at the Moscow Yiddish State Theater, where (with Shloyme Mikhoels) he trained young actors.  At that time he also worked as a lecturer on theater and art at the Lunacharsky Institute in Moscow.  He ran the Yiddish theater in Odessa, 1935-1941.  He also directed a number of plays on the Russian and Ukrainian stage.  He later worked with the theater in Tajikistan, where he was evacuated in 1942.  After WWII (until 1948) he continued his work with the Yiddish theater in Odessa.  In 1960 a large work by him appeared in Russian, “The Word on the Stage” (in English translation), a collection of the theatrical opinions of the best Russian directors, playwrights, critics, and actors.  Together with the Russian writer V. Artsov, he translated into Russian Sholem-Aleykhem’s Dos groyse gevins (Hit the Jackpot).  In his final years, Loyter was active with Russian and Ukrainian theater.  He died in Kiev.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); N. Mayzil, Dos yidishe shafn un der yidisher shrayber in sovetnfarband (Jewish creation and the Yiddish writer in the Soviet Union) (New York, 1959), see index; A. Kahan, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (February 25, 1961); M. Vaykhert, Zikhroynes (Memoirs), vol. 2 (Warsaw, 1961), p. 297.


MOYSHE-KHAYIM LEVI (May 22, 1893-September 1942)
            He was born in Lemberg, Galicia, into a well-heeled family.  He studied in religious primary school and with the Brzeżany rabbi, and he received ordination into the rabbinate.  During WWI he was living in Vienna where he studied at the university as well as in the conservatory.  He was a friend of Dr. Nosn Birnboym (Nathan Birnbaum), and he was influence by him in his return path to religious Judaism and to his work with Agudat Yisrael.  He was rabbi and headmaster of yeshivas in Slovakia and Romania.  He was a cofounder of the “Beys-Yankev” seminars in Cracow and Czernowitz.  In 1936 he became rabbi of Piotrków.  He was also a member of the executive of Agudat Yisrael and Poale Agudat-Yisrael (Workers of Agudat Yisrael) in Poland and of Moetset Gedole Hatorah (Council of Torah Giants).  He began writing in Hebrew and in 1918 switched to Yiddish.  His work appeared in: Der yud (The Jew), Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Yudishe arbayter-shtime (Voice of Jewish workers), Darkenu (Our way), and Deglanu (Our banner)—in Warsaw; Ortodoksishe bleter (Orthodox pages), Der idisher arbayter (The Jewish worker), Beys-yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal), Ortodoksishe almanakh (Orthodox almanac), and Oylim-bleter (Pages for immigrants to Israel), and Bnei derekh (Children of the way) which was edited by N. Birbaum—in Lodz; Dos yudishe lebn (The Jewish life) in Piotrków; and Dos vort (The word) in Vilna; among others.  He was the author of: Di idishe froyen-velt (The Jewish women’s word) (Prešov, 1930), 84 pp.; Tsvey muters in yisroel (Two mothers in Israel) (Lodz, 1932), 28 pp.; Afn veg tsu kidesh hashem (On the way to sanctification of the name) (Piotrków, 1937), 38 pp.  When the Nazis set up the ghetto in Piotrków, he avoided becoming a “Jewish elder” and worthily assumed the fate of the entire Jewish people.  On September 21, 1942, during the liquidation of the ghetto, he and all those remaining of the Piotrków Jewry were deported to Treblinka and murdered there.  His Hebrew-language religious work, Dine kidush hashem (Services to the sanctification of the name), which he wrote in 1937, was lost.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Y. Sh. Goldshteyn, in Forverts (New York) (September 18, 1953); M. Prager, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), p. 532; information from Yoysef Firdnzon in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


MEYER HALEVI (d. April 15, 1972)
            He survived the holocaust in Europe, and from 1963 he was rabbi of the Sephardic community there.  He was professor of Oriental history at the Sorbonne.  He published a string scholarly historical works on Yiddish and the history of Jews in Romania.  He wrote for: Di vokh (The week) and Inzl (Island) in Bucharest; Oyfgang (Arise) in Sighet; Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris; Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) and Historishe shriftn (Historical writings) in Vilna (1929-1939); Yivo-bleter (Pages from YIVO) in New York (1956, 1966); Bleter far geshikhte (Pages for history) in Warsaw (from 1957).  He brought out two community records from Metz (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and from records from Siebenberg and Bucharest.  A series of historical documents concerning Yiddish are published in his edited yearbooks Sinai (1926-1933).  He also published many historical scholarly works in Romanian, French, and Polish.  He died in Paris.

Source: O. Weininger, Grosse jüdische Biografie (1925).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 325.

Tuesday 21 February 2017


YOYSEF LEVI (1895-August 1944)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland.  He graduated from a Russian high school and then from the law faculty of Warsaw University.  He practiced for a time as a lawyer and then became a journalist.  He chaired the “Hitaḥdut” (the “union” of young Zionists) party in Poland.  He was a cofounder and for a time director of the Polish-Hebrew high school in Lodz.  He began writing for the Hebrew-language Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw in 1916, and from 1918 published as well in Yiddish and Polish.  He was an internal contributor, Sejm correspondent, and editor (1923-1924) of Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper).  For many years he was the Lodz correspondent for Haynt (Today) and Przegląd (Overview) in Warsaw and member of the editorial board of Folk un land (People and land) in Lodz-Warsaw-Lemberg (1921-1934).  He also contributed work to: Bafrayung (Liberation) in Warsaw (1919-1920); Dos fraye vort (The free word) in Lemberg (1920-1921, 1930-1934); Unzer ruf (Our call) in Vienna (1921-1922); Unzer tribune (Our tribune) in Lodz (1935), for which he also served as editor; Bederekh (On the road) in Warsaw; and Hapoel hatsair (The young laborer) in Tel Aviv; among others.  He co-edited (with Dr. A. Tartakover) Yidisher shul-byuletin (Jewish school bulletin) in Lodz (1926-1928).  He also published under such pen names as: Yoysef Ivri, Y. Lev, and Ego.  Until WWII he was living in Lodz, where he was a member of the Jewish community administration.  After the entrance of the Nazis into Lodz, he was in the first group of Jewish intellectuals whom the Gestapo arrested, but for an enormous ransom he was released.  For a time he hid out, later living in the confines of the ghetto.  In August 1944, at the time of the liquidation of the ghetto, he was deported to Auschwitz and murdered there.

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; N. Meltsar, Pirke galitsiya (Chapters from Galicia) (Tel Aviv, 1957), pp. 196, 228, 236; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over (New York) 3 (1957), pp. 214, 262; information from Arn Alpern in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


YITSKHOK (ITZHAK, YITZHAK) LUDEN (b. October 22, 1924)
            He was born in Warsaw, Poland, into a working-class family.  He graduated from a secular Jewish school and until WWII was active in the Bund’s children’s and youth organizations, “SKIF” (Sotsyalistishe kinder-farband, or Socialist children’s union) and Tsukunft (Future) in Warsaw.  When the Germans invaded Poland, he fled to Russia.  He survived the war years in Central Asia near the Afghanistan border.  He returned to Poland in 1946 and moved to Israel in 1949.  He studied art history and philosophy at Tel Aviv University.  He published articles in Yugnt-veker (Youth alarm) in Lodz (1948), in which, in addition to journalistic pieces, he also published translations, short monographs, and travel narratives concerning various Israeli settlements.  He was the art critic for Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv and had a regular column entitled “Vokhediks af shabes” (Everyday on Saturday).  He wrote longer works on art for Gazit (Hewn stone) and Goldene keyt (Golden chain) in Tel Aviv.  From 1971 he served as editor of Lebnsfragn (Life issues) in Tel Aviv, and he wrote as well for Unzer tsayt (Our time) in Tel Aviv and Unzer shtime (Our voice) in Paris.  He translated Ḥayim Ḥefer’s Misdar haloḥamim (Parade of fighters) as Kemfer parad (Tel Aviv, 1968), 53 pp.  He also published Fun kholem tsu sholem (From dream to peace) (Tel Aviv: Letste nayes, 1979), 240 pp.; Perl fun ganeydn, vegn kunst un vegn kinstler, eseyen, ophandlungen un shmuesn (Pearls from paradise, on art and arts, essays, treatments and conversations) (Tel Aviv, 1987), 326 pp.; In geyeg nokh momentn (In pursuit of the moment) (Tel Aviv: Leivick House, 2009).  He was last living in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Sefer hashana shel haitonaim (The annual of newspapers) (Tel Aviv, 1955/1956), p. 244; Tsukunft (New York) (December 1956); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 478; Dr. Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 14, 1958).
Khayim Leyb Fuks and Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 325.]


YOYSEF LUDEN (b. December 5, 1905)
            He was born in Warsaw, the brother of Yitskhok Luden.  Until the Moscow Show Trials, he was a Communist activist.  During WWII he was in Soviet Russia, and from 1948 in Israel.  From 1971 he was editor of the anarchist periodical Problemen (Problems) in Tel Aviv, in which he published articles and reviews.  He also wrote for Parizer bleter (Parisian pages), Dorem-afrike (South Africa), and Oyfgang (Arise) in Ḥolon.  In book form: Roykh un legendes, khurbn un oyfkum lider (Smoke and legends, poetry of destruction and rising up) (Tel Aviv, 1964), 31 pp.; Iber tsebrokhene brikn, roman (Over broken bridges, a novel) (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1966), 237 pp.; Vi a zegl in shturem, roman (Like a sail in a storm, a novel) (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1972), 160 pp.; Af di frontn fun lebn, roman (At the beginnings of life, a novel) (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1981), 360 pp.; Flamen (Flames), poetry (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1983), 78 pp.; A blits in der nakht (A flash in the night) (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1986), 98 pp.; Shturem-glokn, eseyen (Storm clocks, essays) (Tel Aviv: Problemen, 1986), 250 pp., a collection of essays about writers and contemporary issues.

Sources: Y. Fridlender, in Maariv (Tel Aviv) (March 25, 1966); M. Shteynberg, in Letste nayes (Tel Aviv) (January 8, 1982); Sh. Tenenboym, in Problemen (Tel Aviv) 122 (1982).
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 324, 544.


AVROM (ABRAHAM) LUDVIPOL (October 1866-May 3, 1921)
            He was born in Zvihil (Novohrad-Volynskyy), Ukraine, into a Hassidic family which drew its pedigree from Rabbi Pinkhes Koritser (Pinchas of Koretz).  Until age sixteen he studied Torah and Hassidism, and then he fell under the influence of the Jewish Enlightenment and quietly set out to read secular books.  He served in the military, before departing for Odessa and from there to Israel, but because of the entry edicts of the Turkish government, he remained in Egypt where he worked in unskilled labor.  He then moved on to Paris, learned French, and attended lectures at the Sorbonne.  He sent in to Hamelits (The advocate) his “Mikhtavim mipariz” (Missives from Paris), which excelled with their light style, according to French specimens, and afforded him a name among Hebrew readers.  He participated in the first Zionist congresses, popularized the Zionist idea through his articles in the French daily newspaper Le Temps, and wrote in the Hebrew press on Jewish life in Western Europe.  During the Dreyfus trial, he was the Paris correspondent for Odesskii listok (Odessa flier) in Russian, and he was on close terms with the leaders of the Dreyfusards.  In 1903 he became editor of Hatsofe (The spectator) in Warsaw and changed it into a European daily newspaper.  When the newspaper’s state of affairs became uncertain, he left for St. Petersburg where he wrote for Fraynd (Friend) a series of articles entitled “Di yidn beys der frantseyzisher revolutsye” (Jews at the time of the French Revolution)—in the supplement to Fraynd (142, 196ff); and in Russian he wrote monographs on Adolphe Crémieux, Bernard Lazare, and Dr. Theodor Herzl.  Into Hebrew he translated: Hippolyte-Lazare Carnot, Hamahpekha hatsarfatit (The French Revolution [original: La Révolution française, résumé historique (The French Revolution, historical summary)]) (Warsaw, 1896), 2 volumes; and [chapter 1 of] Georges Maspero, Toldot ame hamizraḥ hakadmonim (History of the ancient peoples of the East [original: Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Orient]) (Warsaw, 1897), 70 pp.  He also wrote for Hashiloaḥ (The shiloah) under the pen name Medinai (diplomat).  In the last Luaḥ aḥiasef (1904-1905), he published a lengthy article about Dr. Hertzl.  In 1908 he settled in Jaffa, contributed to Hapoel hatsair (The young worker), and later for Haarets (The land) and the monthly Moledet (Homeland), among other serials.  He was a member of “Havaad hazemani” (Temporary council), and cofounder of the first “Elected Assembly” in the land of Israel.  He died in Jaffa.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (with a bibliography); Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Tel Aviv, 1937), p. 582; D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 673-74; Sh. Slutski, Avrom Reyzen-biblyografye (Avrom Reyzen bibliography) (New York, 1956), no. 4527; A. Uri, Sefer zvihil (Zvihil volume) (Tel Aviv, 1961/1962), pp. 82-83.
Yankev Kohen